The Country Homes & Interiors office has gone cake mad – it’s that GBBO time of year again and there are endless discussions on all things baking related. So the time feels right for a cake blog. Cast your mind back to the first ever series of Bake Off – remember Miranda Gore Browne, with her signature dainty shoe and handbag bakes? Well she’s just brought out a storming new book which is packed with speedy ideas to fill your cake tin. This is one of our favourites (there’s no avoiding the fact autumn is most definitely in the air), a simple seasonal Blackberry Cake. Move fast with that foraging basket and you will still find sweet and juicy berries in the hedgerows.
275g blackberries (don’t worry if you have less), unwashed
150g unsalted butter
3 large free range eggs
150g caster sugar (or vanilla sugar), plus extra for sprinkling
2 tbsp demerara sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence, or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
250g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
125 ml semi-skimmed milk
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line a 23-cm spring form cake tin that is at least 6cm deep with a cake tin liner – great to use as this is quite a runny batter. Alternatively use non-stick baking paper.
2 Check the blackberries and brush off any debris with a piece of kitchen towel (don’t wash them as this will add water to the mix), and put to one side. Melt the butter, and set aside.
3 Put the eggs, sugars and vanilla into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment and whisk until pale and fluffy; alternatively use a hand-held electric mixer.
4 Sift in the flour and baking powder, and mix until incorporated. Pour the melted butter and milk into the mix, and whisk again.
5 Sprinkle a handful of the blackberries into the bottom of the prepared tin. Pour about half of the cake mix over the top of the blackberries. Sprinkle half of the remaining blackberries over the cake mix, then add the remaining cake mix.
6 Put the cake tin on a baking sheet (to catch spillages) and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the cake is golden on top and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before taking out of the tin. Scatter the remaining blackberries over the top and sprinkle with caster sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have some).
*Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can by Miranda Gore Browne (Ebury Press, £14.99). Photograph: Rosie Barnett.
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